3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the American version
This Danish film really got to me and I found it superior to the previous version I had seen. The acting was sincere and the whole film had a ring of truth to it. If you like films about returning from war, then I would recommend this one.
Published 11 months ago by Jane B
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Special
I purchased this on the basis of the 5 and 4 star reviews. I think I must have been watching something different. Total rubbish. Being generous giving it 2 stars. He walks away from a plane crash with hardly a scratch. He does the absolute unthinkable - he kills a fellow prisoner to save his own life - how could anyone live with themselves after doing that? The film...
Published 10 months ago by Brian J.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the American version,
This review is from: Brothers [DVD] (DVD)This Danish film really got to me and I found it superior to the previous version I had seen. The acting was sincere and the whole film had a ring of truth to it. If you like films about returning from war, then I would recommend this one.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Denmark really isn't just bacon and lurpack...,
This review is from: Brothers [DVD] (DVD)A brilliant piece of danish drama, who have somewhat of an underrated catalogue of great titles...
The difficulty with subtitled foreign film is the emotion, thought and story behind words can be lost in translation. The fine performance from a strong cast make sure this definately isn't the case with "Brothers". The raw emotions of lose, desperation, fear and anger are put forward so strongly that it doesn't matter if "Carlsberg" is the extent of your danish, not a shred of drama is lost.
The film moves at a tremendous pace, highlighting the true emotional destruction of war. The focus is taken off the action, and placed on to the families who lose a husband or a brother or a son, left to pick up the pieces, and on the damage done to a returning soldier, and his downward spiral as he survives capture, but at the price of his mind and spirit. There's also a particularly strong scene showing how far a man will go for love and survival.
Take a chance on a Danish great, you won't regret it...
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious Danish,
This review is from: Brothers [DVD] (DVD)Came across this movie after enjoying Connie Nielsen's strong, no-nonsense performances as a policewoman in Special Victims Unit and a military policewoman in Basic. Her character in Brothers is an ordinary, loving wife and mother who endures the agony of the reported death of her husband in Afghanistan and has to pick up the pieces for the sake of her children and grieving in-laws. Unlike in her previous roles where her strength comes from her badge, gun or military rank, in this film it is the love for her children and family which gives her the determination to carry on. Her portrayal of putting a brave face on grief is wonderfully subtle yet utterly convincing. The sub-plot of what actually happened to her husband in Afghanistan is equally heart-wrenching to watch (as well as a timely reminder that the Americans are not the only troops in Afghanistan!) He is a good man,a loving husband,son and father,a responsible soldier placed in a situation where the only way to survive is to carry out an unimaginably horrific act that goes against every aspect of his character. The consequences of the choice he is forced to make will change the lives of everybody in the film and the "what would you do in that situation" question haunted me long after the film was over. As well as fantastic acting and gripping plotlines, this film is beautifully shot - from Afghanistan sunsets and sand dunes to the Scandinavian designer chic of the family home in Denmark, a visual feast. Lovely movie on so many levels. Have no intention of ever watching the Hollywood remake - couldn't bear to see what they've done to it!
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, powerful film of the damages of war and the complexities of family,
This review is from: Brothers [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)Very moving film takes seemingly familiar elements (two brothers in
love with the same woman, a Cain and Abel good brother/bad brother set
up) and makes it complicated, disturbing and sad.
Abetted by excellent performances all around, this Danish film tells of
a woman whose husband goes off to the Afghanistan War and is presumed
dead. She forms a bond with his previously" bad" brother who tries to
clean up his act for her and her children in the absence of his
brother... only to have the brother return home from war - having been
a prisoner - a deeply damaged man.
As in "Things We Lost In the Fire", Bier shows a knack for setting us
up to assume we know the roads a story will tread, only to take us
somewhere richer, more affecting and more deeply human. There are
flaws, but any film that quietly packs this kind of emotional punch
about the damage that war does, the way people can change, and the deep
messy-ness of families deserves to be seen.
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful production from start to finish,
This review is from: Brothers [DVD] (DVD)I love this film ,brilliant story and superbly acted. Do not pass this by
, a brilliant example of foreign Cinema
5.0 out of 5 stars Brothers DVD,
This review is from: Brothers [DVD] (DVD)This film is superb. It isn't easy viewing, but it held me and my friend throughout and we were exhausted and exhilarated at the finish. If you want excellent adult viewing and a gripping and sensitive story line, this is it.
5.0 out of 5 stars simply brilliant,
This review is from: Brothers [DVD] (DVD)A womans take on death , grief and being a victim of war . Excellent acting , with many familar actors from other danish movies , I was particulary taken by the naturalness of the children , This isnt a sentimental film nor a weepy just an honest portrait of a family crisis . cant recommend it enough . We stayed up late after watching this , to discuss every detail about this film .
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully subtle movie about the psychological drama of war,
This review is from: Brothers [DVD] (DVD)This is another in a long line of excellent Danish movies of the past 20 years or so. As opposed to most others, the comical element is completely missing from this one and the story focuses on how a family deals with the loss of a loved one (supposedly KIA in Afghanistan) and how even modern armies tend not to be fully capable of mitigating the psychological pressures / breakdowns of people facing or being faced with death and killing.
As opposed to many movies emerging as a result of the current Iraq and Afghanistan wars, here the focus is firmly on the goings on back in Denmark, with only small glimpses being accorded of Ulrich Thomsen's capture and subsequent release in Afghanistan.
After his supposed death is announced there are two distinct phases to the movie, the first one is about how his wife, children, parents, and wayward brother handle the loss, which brings about his brother both getting much more serious and close to Michael's wife (Connie Nielsen). Subsequently, after Michael is freed and returns, there is a second distinct phase to the movie about primarily how he is trying to get to grips with what happened / what he was forced to do to survive capture.
The movie is excellent both in how the story is handled, as well as for the general acting (almost everyone, including the children, delivering outstanding performances). The only downside as far as acting goes is Connie Nielsen playing the wife. While her role is extremely well developed, she just largely lacks the expressive power to bring the supposed emotions across - she more or less constantly looks like she is having a pretty good time and as if she's completely unfazed - something that belies both how character seems to be intended and her part in the dialogues.
While the movie does not quite reach the standard set by Festen [DVD]  or The Idiots  [DVD], this is another excellent Danish drama and well worth watching, especially for the portrayal of war from the other, home front perspective. Finally, if the psychological drama behind what Michael is experiencing in the latter part of the movie is of interest, I would also warmly recommend reading On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, which does an excellent job of summarizing the mechanisms and psychological coping procedures behind warfare.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding,
This review is from: Brothers [DVD] (DVD)For me this movie is magic. Above all some scenes that can led to the conclusion that Connie NIelsen is a great actress.I remember the scene when Jannik call Connie 'cos apparently hasn't got enough money to pay the bill, the conversation in the car when Jannik admits how painful is missing his brother is the key of the movie, for me. You can notice the pain, the sorrow and... how two people start to feel atracted for each other. I fall in love with the tension of the film. If you see this movie twice you can appreciate that , either in the dinner before the michael's leaving, or in the dinner of the michael's comeback there is an unbereable tension between the characters. It is curious, but it;s true. It is one of the main reasons why I like this kind of movies. It's just the reality.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars roulette of life and war,
This review is from: Brothers [DVD] (DVD)This film shows how people from very different countries are at last very similar and if his behaviour is different, this is because the ambient and surrounding circumstances also are.
And so, Michael, a major of the Danish Army is sent to patrolling to Afghanistan. That's one of these missions many western Europe armies make today.
But, it's clear, Denmark it's a prosperous but small country no doubt with well trained soldiers. One problem I think, is rarely Denmark has been involved in real wars from many times ago. Training, no matter how perfect, isn't real war.
Michael has a very controlled life very own of one of the most wealthy countries, he's happy with his wife Sarah, his two little daughters and his successful career. He has also a younger irresponsible brother named Jannik which is a person frontally opposite to him, without work, drinker and occasional delinquent, as these people exists in spite of material adevances with so many opportunities. But Afghanistan is another very different thing. The helicopter when Michael and other military travels is shot down by a missile from the guerrilla. Then Michael survives with another mate but which lacks combat or survival training: he's only a radar operator and he's terrorised. The Afghanis thinks this operator is a coward, unworthy man and force Michael to kill him brutally, striking him with a stake. Afghanistan is no land to waste food and water. Michael, menaced seriously to be shot, kills so terribly his mate. But the guerrilla is attacked by another helicopters and the commandant is rescued by British forces.
In the meantime, Sarah and Michael's family is informed he's killed. This provokes Jannik acquires suddenly a character more responsible, he aids Sarah in his home with the children and the housework, and adultery is near to happen. But Michael reappears. He carries with him two big problems although he's an strong man: he hides he has killed his mate, but he suffers an enormous hidden remorse, and there's another obsessions as he thinks Jannik has made love with his wife. This isn't true but he begins to suffer some explosions of fury. Sarah suspects, and has to say Michael he must explain clearly what really happened in Afghanistan.
This isn't by far an usual war movie but a serious one, it's much more real about the ravages of such adventures and one unfortunately doesn't attain to see a clear solution for these family. Life waste sometimes these bitter jokes perhaps only time is capable to cure or at less, to soften while at same time, these tragedy carries the redemption of the younger brother.
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Brothers [DVD] by Susanne Bier (DVD - 2005)